Thoughts on Diversity

Recently, I had a design professor say in class (to some degree) regarding design, “In the eighties, we knew exactly where we were going–The Future. …Now? No one knows.”

The world is changing at an exponential rate; faster than we realize. (Have you read The Penguin State of the World Atlas, 8th Edition in John Brumfeld’s class?) World population is growing; cities growing even faster. Information has become a valuable commodity. And by 2050 more people will be more highly educated than ever before in the history of the world. This is nothing new.

I’m sure some of us hear and fear the dystopian views of the future, myself included. Just see Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps in which the infamous Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) proclaims, “You’re all pretty much fucked!”. (Then again, I’m in Dennis and Gerard’s class at WongDoody, so good ol’ Gordon is a little too late in relaying that message.)

But tonight, I attended a talk at the college on the issue of Diversity. The goal was to start a conversation. Which would be considered inclusive to ACCD President, Dr. Lorne Buchanan’s strategic plan on the future of Art Center. Or in other words, how do we deal with the changing climate (in regards to race, religion, gender, sexual ID, etc) of our student body?

I think it’s a profound issue. And one that needs serious consideration in the development of our college. (I know! Or I wouldn’t have gotten a free dinner.)

The talk was lead by Dr. Darryl G. Smith and framed in the context of historical social, political, and ethical change in world who left this ‘business’ “largely unfinished.” Her presentation attempted to provide models and bullet points in order to answer questions on the role of diversity in our institution in regards to curriculum, pedagogy, and culture. And furthermore, how that change affects the educational experience of Art Center.

I hope I haven’t lost you.

I thought this was an ambitious talk, but one that left me with more questions than answers. I don’t think the forum attempted to find a model solution. But instead, start the process of asking questions, and expose the Art Center community of students, administration, faculty, and staff to the role diversity plays in our dichotomy. I think it opens up a new arena in order to transform the Art Center of 2050 into one of growth or disparity.

As a student representative on ACSG, I’m gathering views and opinions of my department in order to reflect and represent those opinions to the leadership of the college.

So on that note, I’d like to hear from you. If you are an ADV student or alum of the college and have opinions, questions, comments or disagreements you’ld like to share, please email me at rdavid [at] inside.artcenter.edu.

This will be an interesting world to participate in. But for now, I’m going to work on some campaigns and listen to this song while I reflect…

Respectfully yours,

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